The Missouri State Highway Patrol will be getting $3.4 million from the federal stimulus act to create a rural crimes task force.

The competitive grant was announced Thursday.

The funds will support 10 criminal investigators, two criminal analysts, a part-time administrator and overtime for local police agencies that work with the patrol to fight rural crimes.

The money is to be used over a two-year period ending July 31, 2011. The grant also will fund the purchase of equipment and supplies for investigators.

Gov. Jay Nixon said the new rural crimes task force will aid the mission of an existing task force that focuses on cattle thefts and other farm crimes.

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